Autumn Drussell loses editor job for confessing big box store love

The wall protecting editorial content from advertising concerns is looking a little shaky at the Stoughton Courier Hub in Wisconsin.

In July, the weekly paper's new editor, Autumn Drussell, wrote an editorial announcing that she would be doing more of her shopping at affordable big-box stores until the economy improved, and recommended that local mom-and-pop stores improve their pricing and customer service if they intended to keep their business.

Local businesses pushed back, some of them pledging to revoke their advertising. The next thing Drussell knew, she was in a meeting with the general manager of the Unified Newspaper Group, which owns the Courier Hub. She was fired as editor but kept on as a reporter, with a 90-day probation. She also had to sign a pledge not to write anymore editorials.

Last week, Drussell filed a complaint with the state's Equal Rights Division. She wants her job back, and is claiming gender discrimination because the male staffer who reviewed her controversial editorial suffered no consequences at all.

Drussell says this isn't just about her -- she doesn't want her paper to set a precedent for punishing writers for their opinions.

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